I bought a Pur(now Kataydn) Guide water filter. I love it and have had no problems with it. It is alittle bulky but seems very durable. The same company makes a model called the Hiker. It is a little cheaper and I think might be more compact. Also MSR makes some good filters but I have never used them. There's nothing like a good water filter though. Check out the different brands and see which models fit your size, price range, and performance. You might check out Ebay and see what is for sale there. I have been buying some gear recently off Ebay and it has been good deals. I only buy new stuff of course off there and make sure it is not shady looking. But if you are comfortable doing that, htne check it out.
I have a PUR (now owned and called by the name Katadyn) Hiker and have had it for more than 5 years now. It works great and has lasted well. I have changed the filter element once. One thing I do to help keep sediment out of the filter is add a coffee filter to the intake end and rubber band it on. This keeps the cartridge cleaner longer. I also know others who use old pantyhose (after laundering) and other filter elements to prefilter.
I also bring a filter water bottle for quick water filtration during the day.
At night when we cook and we need to boil water for dinner I will sometimes boil extra and place it in the water bottle for use the following day. I use the filter often-but also employ other methods to get water. I am also one who will drink directly from clear deep lakes taking water from the middle deepest part and getting water from as far down as my arm will take the bottle. If I trust the water I will drink from it.
"When a man is part of his canoe, he is part of all that canoes have ever known."
Sigurd F. Olson
Really any store that deals in some backpacking gear should carry atleast a couple options. Cabelas, Galyans, Dicks, Backwoods, etc. I did see some at Piragis last weekend when I was up there because I was looking for a new filter. If you are going off the Gunflint then Superior Trading Post would probably carry some. I would carry an extra filter(by filter I mean the cartridge, not the entire pump) with you as well. I haven't used mine but on two or three trips and I needed a new filter bad last weekend. You should be fine in the BW with one filter since the water is usually clear. But you never know when you'll have to pump some murky water that will dirty up your filter. Speaking of filters, you might want to consider the price for new filters for each model. The Guide that I have is like 40 bucks for a filter. I am not sure if other models are cheaper or not though.
I too use a Pur (Katadyn) Hiker and have very good results. When looking for water treatment system be sure to look at the filters versus the purifiers. For the BW a good filter should be all you need, I think the purifiers are overkill and spendier. Like Bogwalker I use a coffee filter over my intake prefilter as it really helps extend the life of the filter element. The other helpful hint I would offer is to get your water away from shore. Go out to deeper water and you will filter alot less sediment.
I too use a Katadyn Hiker... first time was this year. It worked great!! Another thing I did was to put a coffee filter over the end that goes into the water... It was held on by pantyhose and a rubber band, I personally think that helps keep some of the larger particles out of the filter... It took 48 pumps to fill a Nalgen Qt. Bottle...
Good Paddling, Great Fishing, and God Bless All...
I guess you can put my vote in for the Pur(Katadyn) Hiker also. We have been using it for about 5 years & are very happy with it. If you pump water in the middle of the lake there is no need for the coffee filter.
A road is a dagger placed in the heart of a wilderness.
-William O. Douglas, in Ghost Grizzlies
I'm gonna revive this and ask a question, has anyone cobbled together their own satisfactory system? I am considering building/using one this summer. I hate pumping water. I have a 5 gallon and a 2.5 gallon MSR water bags. Ideally, hang the 2.5 to filter into the 5. All I need is an inline filter and tubing to connect the bags.
Anyone try building such a contraption? Sites to acquire an inline filter?
Has anyone tried this?
I have never tried making my own filter however, I have a filter which you pump to clean the water which I do not enjoy pumping and found that it also filters the water if you hang the bag on a branch and let gravity pull the water through the filter, It has worked well for me without the need of pumping.
Yea, I don't think I really want to make my own filter either, LOL, just an easier way to filter it, laziness being the instigator of invention. I've heard that the filter at the http//: is effective and used as I described.
Check out the Camp Gravity Bag made by Katadyn. You can find it at Campmor for $70. You can also buy the replacement cartridge and make your own set up for $60. May be a bit pricey but it's easy to filter a lot of water without pumping.
I might as well be the first to plug the MSR MiniWorks filter. I have used mine for over two years without any issues.
The biggest advantage is that you can clean the filter anywhere. Rub it down with a scouring pad and the water flows like it did the day you bought it. It also attatches directly to a Nalgene bottle, and any MSR dromedry bags which are great to have around camp.
I usually hike with a good friend who has the Hiker filter. We leave it at home and take mine. I do think however, that the Hiker does filter water slightly faster.
I have been using the Bota Outback water bottle with the filter right in it for two years. It has worked great for me. No need to pump or wait, you just fill it up and have at it. I replace the filter each year which is cheap around $8.
I just purchased a kataydn Hiker. Looks great, Cost $50 after $10 rebate. It that a decent price? Looks like the filters are pricey, at $30 each. I saw that the replacement filters came with a extra layer on the outside of them. Sort of a screen one could scrape clean. That looks like a nice feature. I think I will go with the double protection, that only a coffee filter and pantyhose can provide, on the intake. It says that I can filter around 200 gal with the paper filter. But with the protection on the intake and only filtering pretty clean water to start with I figure I could get double that. I'll let you know how it goes. only 12 more days and I'm up there in the B-Dub.
I have heard of several people doing that, but I wonder about some lakes I have been on like Boot Lake that seemed to be stained due to the bogs. Does it affect taste. I think I will stick to a filter, I have a sensitive system so I do not take chances.
I've got a Hiker from www.Backcountry.com . Used it on my 6 day Quetico trip. Works great. Has an attachment for the wide mouth Nalgene and really takes no time to pump enough water for two. I use 5 gallon pails from Home Depot to carry my sleeping bag in and use one of these in the eve. to haul water so I can filter while I cook. The Lakes in Quetico that I visited were very clear and additional protection for the filter in those lakes would be overkill. The filter should outlast me unless I retire or win the lottery. Would not consider not filtering as a bout with giardia is no fun at all. good luck Frogge.
We used a Katadyn base camp filter on our trip last week and I broke the filter on our first day in. It is made of ceramic in a cloth bag not very durable if you ask me. We had to boil water the rest of the trip and almost ran out of propane. For the 3 hours or so that we were able to use it it seemed to work well, about 3 gallons of water. my experience with the PUR hiker is that after a while it is very very hard to pump. We had one with us as a backup and decided to boil water instead because the PUR was too slow. Anyone know how to fix this problem???
"Anyone who says they like portaging is either a liar or crazy"
Bill Mason 1929-1988
It is probably a result of too much silt and gunk getting into the filter. I put a paper coffee filter over the intake of my Hiker secured with a rubber band as a prefilter. This helps keep the larger particles out of the filter and lengthening the filter life as well as the time before it gets hard to pump. I bring a few paper filters with me and just throw away paper filters as they get clogged.
Secondarily, I rinse and sterilize the filter and pump after every trip. Take the filter out and rinse it with a bleach/water solution to sterilize it. This also removes some of silt and crud that is in the filter. Reassemble and pump a little bleach solution into the pump. Rinse the pump by filtering some water before you go on your trip.
Also-they should have enclosed a small tube of silicone to apply to the o-ring to keep it pliable. Be sure to apply this silicone periodically to insure smooth operation
Using these steps keeps my Hiker working well. I have had my Hiker for quite a few years and know it has many years of service left in her. I have replaced the filter element once in probably 6 years.
"When a man is part of his canoe, he is part of all that canoes have ever known."
Sigurd F. Olson
I have had good luck with my MSR filter, which as shadowhiker pointed out above, is easy to service in the field. I have even used it in ponds that are so green with algae that it looks like pea soup. When the the flow rate slows down, just scrub off the outer surface of the ceramic filter element, and you're good to go.
The filter Paul1264 is referring to isnt so much that its slow....it was more of a case of taking 3 men and a boy to pump it at all.......mind you with a clean filter and cleaned out check valve and a lubed o-ring, and the little "intake ball"(whatever its called) free of debris..........maybe its defective, I dunno.....
anyhow........its a Base camp for me now (carefully handled of course) after he replaces my filter
He, who would give up freedom for security, then neither deserves nor will receive either. -- Ben Franklin
I have both the Pur Hiker and the MSR SweetWater Microfilter. In an "un-scientific" side by side comparison on Crooked Lake, the SweetWater filter out performed the Hiker. Our "un-scientific" group found the SweetWater easier to pump, less tiring, and had a faster output. Just adding my 2 cents......
I've got the Kataydn Hiker. Making sure all parts are good for my next trip today (I leave Tues put in a Sawbill) and was wondering if anyone has lubricated the pump handle in any way? Mine seems a little sticky.
I also seem to go through my replacement cartridge about every two years. I use it a lot as I guide trips and the water sources are not always the best (ie backpacking SHT, other river trips in S. MN, etc..). And the groups I guide are usually around 15ppl or so. We'll fill up a 5gal jug several times a day. I've done the coffee filter thing -- I think it just gets a lot of use.
Long time reader, first time responder. Folks walking the AT use a small inline fuel filter for VW's to pre-filter their water. These filters are available at any auto parts store for a few bucks and do a phenominal job of extending the life of your water filter.
I've had a Sweetwater,which I liked,but it broke. And I've had a Pur hiker,which I also liked, but sold to my brother after I picked up Katadyn Pocket Filter off Ebay. The idea of the Pocket Filter is great (13,000 gallons).It should last a life time of tripping without replacing the filter element. But after using it on a trip last year I thought it was a bit heavy and I don't think it pumped as nice as say a Hiker. I have been toying with the idea of the Katadyn Base and just letting gravity do my work over night.Not the Base Camp which takes a Hiker filter( 200 Gals.), but the Base which is good for about 15,000 gallons.I'd bring a 2 1/2 gallon collapsable jug and have water for the whole group for the day.